Signee Spotlight: Mario Sanders

Defensive end Mario Sanders is among what seems a small portion of the 2011 recruitment class who stuck with their initial long-standing commitment. With interest from both in-state schools in South Carolina and more in North Carolina, Sanders chose to stick with his Duke commitment last February through signing day.

"Duke was basically the first to offer, so I pretty much had a premonition to go ahead and commit early," said the 6-4, 215-pound athlete from Greer, S.C. "Their program is on the rise, and is overlooked right now in the ACC. But if people watch the games, very soon we'll be one of the top teams."

Sanders continued about the influence he's seen from the Duke coaching staff.

"Coach Jones was my recruitment coordinator; he's the one who got me through the whole process and really helped me out," Sanders commented. "Coach Cutcliffe is an amazing head coach too."

The defensive end also received solid support from his family and high school coach.

"My parents are probably most excited because they know Duke has the academics to help me achieve what I want to achieve, and my head coach knows I'm capable of playing on the next level," he explained.

Unlike many others, Sanders presented no uncertainty on signing day.

"I kept it low-key because I've been committed for a long time--it was just an official signing. It was really just signing the papers and sending them out," he said.

Sanders, who is currently, "doing a lot of lifting, running, and ability work" will continue to improve upon his on-field skills.

While he considers his pass-rushing ability as his greatest asset he will continue to focus on, "getting stronger-that's the main thing I'm planning on working on. I've got pretty good speed now and my moves are pretty crisp, but there's always room for improvement," he added.

Of his contributions next year he said, "I got a scholarship because I can play football, and I plan on living up to that."

Mario Sanders Profile

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